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DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Launches Arts Education Census

Monday, May 12, 2014

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Launches Arts Education Census

Census data will guide investments in high-quality arts education for District school children

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is pleased to launch the Arts Education Census to determine the depth and breadth of arts education programming currently in the District of Columbia Public and Public Charter School systems. The results of the census will complement and supplement the dynamic programming currently in place, and become an essential component of DCCAH's strategic plan for matching funding resources to arts education opportunities for the city's children and youth.

"Research has shown that a curriculum that includes the arts is vitally important to a student's education and development," said Judith Terra, Chair of DCCAH. "Exposure to an education in the arts develops critical and creative thinking, as well as the necessary socio-emotional tools to ensure success for young people as they move into their adult lives."

According to a 2013 report published by Americans for the Arts, students with a high degree of arts participation are four times as likely to be recognized for academic achievement. Among low socioeconomic status students, those with a high degree of arts participation are five times less likely to drop out of school and twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with low arts participation. 

"The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is committed to bringing a rich arts experience to all District students in grades Pre-K through 12," said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of DCCAH. "We will use the data gathered by the census with the aim of ensuring that all students in the District's school systems receive access to high-quality arts education as part of their curricula."

Each District school will be sent a school-specific link to complete the census online. Census findings will be previewed in Fall 2014 with a final report delivered in Spring 2015.  Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Wisconsin have participated in similar statewide arts education assessments, the results of which have provided valuable guidance to state arts and education agencies in allocating resources with greater accuracy and equity. 

For more information on participation in the Arts Education Census, contact David Markey, Arts Education Coordinator at david.markey@dc.gov.